EPA Document Collection

About the EPA document collection held by the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse.

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A Basis for Limiting Noise Exposure for Hearing Conservation
July 1, 1973

A compilation of data is provided, with references to published work, which represents the present state of knowledge concerning the effects of continuous and impulsive noise on hearing. The danger to the ear of both occupational and non-occupational human exposure to noise is considered. Data are included or cited which enable quantitative predictions to be made of the risk to hearing in the American population due to noise exposure in any working or living context. Recommendations are made concerning the need to obtain more definitive data. Relevant aspects of noise measurement, the physiology of hearing, and theories explaining the effects of noise on the ear are discussed in appendices to the main report. This report deals solely with the effects of noise on hearing; other physiological or psychological effects of noise are not considered in the present document.

Behavioral and Physiological Correlates of Varying Noise Environments
June 1, 1977

Eighty male college juniors and seniors were dichotomized into either High or Low Anxiety groups. Each subject experienced a household noise profile under a quiet (50 dBA), intermittent (84 dBA) and continuous (84 dBA) noise condition, while performing either an easy or difficult pursuit tracking task. Heart rate, electromyographic potentials, and tracking error responses were evaluated. Results indicated significant (P<.01) main effects for task difficulty and noise condition and significant (P<.01) interaction effects for task difficulty, noise condition and anxiety level (as measured by the IPAT Self Analysis Form) of subjects. The significant noise effect occurred for the difficult task condition during the second tracking period (which includes transfer of training effects) indicating that factors such as task difficulty, direction of task transfer effects, duration of noise exposure as well as anxiety level of subjects appear to be important variables affecting human psychometer performance in noise environments below 85 dBA. These findings appear to be consistent with previous research which suggests that task difficulty is the variable determining the direction of stress (noise) effects on psychometer performances and the nature of the interaction between stress and anxiety level. The present findings are therefore seen as supporting the concepts of the response interference hypothesis and the inverted-U function between stress and performance.